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Le Terroir, in tandem by

8104 Last spring I had the idea to start the Buffalo Beer Writers Facebook group. Here would be a place to discuss writing about beer, and maybe even have some events. I was inspired by the Beer Bloggers Conference and thought that some of the panels could work well as small get togethers here.

I started the group and more or less promptly forgot about it.

Here’s the thing about me: CBW is not my day job. Where I work actually has an astounding concentration of the Buffalo beer “scene”: there are two beer writers named Brian, an assistant brewer at Rusty Nickel and an assortment of accomplished homebrewers in the office on any given day. One of the beer writers named Brian (the one who isn’t the Buffalo Beer League’s Brian Campbell) is Brian Krespan, whose new hire “fun fact” included that he had a beer blog under the name “Brian Beer God” and so I knew we would be best of friends. Well, I have social anxiety, so I knew we would be best of friends once our mutual friend Christina broke the ice.

One day I saw Brian check in to a beer at Brewed and Bottled on Untappd, so I anxiously e-shouted “buy something cool there!” Like the New Belgium Le Terroir that I had seen Brewed & Bottled post on Instagram a few days ago. See, it’s what I’ve been saying for years: social media, like blogs and photos and so on, are just marketing. Brian picked up the final bottle after I said I would pay him back for it (I, uh, still have not). I suggested hey: why not do a mini version of that idea I had for the Beer Writers and do twin blog posts about the beer?

Without further adieu: Dan’s half. (see also: Brian’s half

Look at that cute mug. And also Brian.
Look at that cute mug. And also Brian.

Holy crap. I put that in my notes: “holy crap”. This beer is acidic. Sour beers have become all the rage recently, which is wonderful, and between the berlinerweisses and the kettle sours and the what-have-yous I had thought I had maybe become accustomed to them. Yeah, they’re sour, that’s cool. No big deal.

But this thing, man this is eating the inside of my stomach lining. It brought back vivid memories of the Rodenbach I had at the Beer Geek Festival in 2013.

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I tried to take notes, to give a detailed description of the beer, but like much of the Stone beers I’ve had are “hoppy” this was “sour”. I loved it! It was wonderful. But in addition to being naturally disinclined to the sort of beer review Brian is no doubt writing right now I was also far from ideal tasting circumstances. We were huddled at the end of a row of cubicles, Brian, Christina and I, and I was drinking out of a large coffee cup. Nobody else was taking notes (apparently they do not have the dedication to the craft that I do).

But this was more or less my plan all along: my strengths lie in the ambiance, the general experience, rather than the beer itself. Or at least that’s where I tell myself my strengths lie, since I suck at the technical description side of things. And we had ambiance in spades: we had plenty of natural light, since I’m lucky enough to be situated by north-facing windows, and a view of the marina. Well, okay, a view of a little inlet of the marina where vegetation and detritus collect, but it’s water just the same. And I was with friends, good friends, so eventually I put down the notebook and just enjoyed their company.

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